Thursday, April 05, 2007

To whom respect is due ...

I've already told you about Rachel here and here.

Another survivor of 7/7, Gill Hicks, has published a book a couple of days ago.


Here's the synopsis for One Unknown:

In this personal memoir, Gill recounts the events of that day, from facing the very real prospect that she might die and her subsequent fight to live, to later coming to terms with losing her legs and living life as a disabled person. The book includes excerpts from the diary she wrote during her rehabilitation, an account of her wedding day in December 2005, when she hit headlines all around the world, and traces the journey of her extraordinary recovery. Having survived this life-shattering experience, Gill asks important questions about how we set our priorities and the way we live our lives. She motivates readers to 'seize the day' and live life to the full while striving for a better, more tolerant world. Her powerful message has a broader audience than most 'ordinary' motivational books because of the experience out of which it was borne. This moving account is told with great integrity and honesty, and Gill's lack of self pity and keen sense of humour lighten the tone and make this book very special indeed.

Gill is now an ambassador with Peace Direct and has made a film with them.

Watch it - I'm sure you'll agree that Gill has set whole new standards for the word 'inspiring'.

As a result of the film, the group set up Practical Peace, who (in their own words) provide:

Links, quotes, books, anecdotes and tips on small things we can all do to make the world a more peaceful place. Each month we send out a Practical Peace e-newsletter offering simple suggestions on things you can do, read, buy, question or change to help make moves towards a sustainable peace.

You can sign up for the newsletter here.


Anonymous said...

As you say - speechless. So a bit ironic to be making a comment. I just know she's a much much better person than me. I would be hellbent on revenge, I know it. But how do you revenge yourself on dead people? The vicious insane Bush/Blair way? So Gill is right. True courage. I wonder if I dare to read the book.

Newmania said...

Ummm how many books are there to be squeezed out of this incident then I think I know three.

( Pssst..... bit dull isn`t it )

Debi said...

What are you suggesting, Newmania?

That people are profiting from the horrific experience (which you describe as an 'incident')?

As opposed to working through to try to make sense of it?

And if this is dull, what constitutes 'inspiring' for you?

Shame on you!

Anonymous said...

If Newmanika is suggesting that publishers may be making money out of a tragedy, then he may be right. As they intended to do with the OJ Simpson case. But this in no way detracts from the courage of people like Gill, or the moral effect of their writing, and the comment about dullness (unless I have misunderstood) is simply unpleasant smugness.

Debi said...

Steve - I certainly understand your cynicism re publishers - especially in the case of the ridiculous OJ debacle. But Gill and Rachel's situation couldn't be more different.

When you experience something so huge and life-changing you either sink into the depths or transform your life, your thinking, your perceptions. (Plesae forgive the over-simplification.)

If you do the latter. it's natural for some people to want to record this experience and resulting transformation.

And it's equally natural to want others to be able to access those words.

There's still no better way to do that than by being published.

And who knows ... books are powerful forces. They have the potential to open eyes and change minds.

The pen is still mightier than the sword. We hope.

Anonymous said...

Point taken. And you can't lump (and I didn't) all publishers together. Some things are simply worthy, in the strictest sense of the word, of being published. Like your own Tatiana, which even if we omit the 'story', focuses atention on one of the vilest evils of these days (and I aint no angel).

On a lighter note. The webmistress of a site I sometimes write for has as motto: the pen is mightier than the sword. But I keep the sword by me, just in case.

I read a book some time ago (left in UK) maybe titled Bathysphere (in spanish) , blinked (no mistake) by a Frenchman,who was so paralysed he could only comunicate by moving his eyelashes(or brows?). Almost a total lack of self-pity. Made me feel a bit like Swift - pessimistic over human race in general (which, let's face it, really means humans as a group influneced/controlled, by their politicians/dictators,religions etc.) but admiring (stunned in my case) by the glory of certain individuals (many of whose stories will never be made public).

Jan said...

I've heard this brave lady, Gill Hicks, speak on TV; she's amazing.
How people survivesuch hell with such strength,still finding HAPPINESS in the world, is incredibly special, isn't it?

Debi said...

Steve - don't forget I'm reading your book, Fisher of Devils, so I have an alternative view of angels. I'd definitely disagree with your statement that you ain't one.

As for that motto - I'm 100% with your friend on that too. Write by all means, but also be prepared to mightily kick arse if the occasion arises.

Re the blinking book - what can I say? I can only assume (and hope) that people in this situation have an amazing inner life going on that those of us who have access to the distractions of the corporeal world can't see.

Jan - it's sobering, isn't it? There I was about to moan that I have a cold coming on ...